Devils Dedicate Win To Hammond's "Coach"
BY DAVE SHEA
HAMMOND - Hammond Central Senior Kelsey Bennett will never forget her final home soccer game on Wednesday.
She scored four goals with a natural hat trick for the final three goals of the game as the top-seeded and 16-1 Lady Red Devils overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to gain a 5-1 win over a gallant upset attempt by eighth seeded Colton-Pierrepont (5-12) in the Section 10 Class D Quarter-Finals.
But that was secondary for the Devils whose primary goal was to win the game for Coach Tom Chapman who has missed very few Hammond boys and girls games in the 30 plus years since he retired as the school's athletic director, physical education teacher and multi-sport coach.
Chapman has been battling cancer for the past two years and attended Wednesday's game after being released from the hospital under the care of Hospice.
Frail and pale, but totally undaunted, Chapman attended the game with his wife Bette sitting in the couple's truck parked near the end of the field adjacent to the parking lot.
"There was no way I was going to miss this game. No matter what anybody said" said Tom Chapman in a postgame celebration where the Hammond players raced to his truck with the gameball.
"It meant the world to us to have him here. He is like a grandfather to all of us and we love him. We had to talked to our principal and superintendent. We wanted to bring his truck to the sidelines but that wasn't possible but they made arrangements to park by the end of the field," said Kelsey Bennett after the Devils advanced into a 3 p.m. semi-final meeting on Saturday at Potsdam High School with defending champion Parishville-Hopkinton which advanced past Hermon-DeKalb 2-1. The first other semi-final game at 1 p.m. will be an all NAC West matchup with Edwards-Knox, a 2-0 winner over Lisbon, meeting Harrisville which advanced past Chateaugay in a shootout after a 0-0 tie.
"I was sick at halftime when we didn't score but the field was wet and slippery. In the other end of the field had better footing and I am so glad we won."
Hammond Coach Shawn Dack credited the perseverance of his team and what it meant to "Hammond Nation" to have Coach Chapman with them.
"We hadn't run (played) in nine days but that was no excuse. We had plenty of chances in the first half. That is is the way it goes sometimes, we just had to step forward," said Dack who succeeded Coach Chapman as Hammond Central Athletic Director.
"I was lucky enough to follow Coach. I am the girls coach so they call me coach. But he will always be Coach here. Because he is Hammond."
A young eighth seeded C-P entered the game as decided underdog but showed its opportunistic spirit scoring 13 minutes into the game when Landree Chamberlain scored from Alexus Cuthbert. Anchored by goaltender Natalie Butterfield, who finished with 15 saves under waves of pressure, and defenders Savanna Smith and Isabelle Vaccaro who made numerous clears the Colts held the lead until Kelsey Bennett tied the score on a penalty shot 11 minutes into the second half after a handball call in the penalty area.
Hailee Manning netted the eventual game-winner knocking home a towering long service from Avery Kenyon which settled near the left goalpost.
Bennett netted the final three goals converting off throw-ins from Kylie Vaugh and Brooke Manning and tucking a shot inside the right goal post after an east-west run across the top of the penalty area. The Devils' midfield and defense circumvented the Colts' counter attack bids and played the ball back into the attacking zone.
Hammond keeper Alyvia Crosby finished with three saves with one in the second half.
"Our girls did a great job. We held them off for over 50 minutes. I didn't agree with the penalty shot call which I think changed the game," said C-P Coach Craig Bogart.
"But Hammond is a just an outstanding team. You just don't see a player like Avery Kenyon with so much strength, athletic ability and speed at the Class D level and Kelsey Bennett is just an outstanding player."
E-K 2 - Lisbon 0: In match of NAC West opponents the Cougars scored two second half goals to advance to a Class D semi-final match against Harrisville.
Abby Hart assisted on both goals setting up Lilly Lottie eight minutes after halftime and then providing the setup for Riley Typhair with 2:12 left in the game.
Ali Matthews stopped five shots in the shutout and Abby Flack handled 15 shots for Lisbon.
"We dominated in the first half but couldn't score. We a a little lull in the second half and Lisbon really took it to us for 12 minutes," said E-K Coach Patty Matthews.
"Lisbon is a good team and it was a nice win. Now we have to get past Harrisville which will tough. We beat them once and we tied in the regular season."
Harrisville Advances: Harrisville became the third NAC West team to move into the semi-finals advancing past NAC East Champion Harrisville in a shootout after a double overtime scoreless tie.
Pirate goalkeeper Megan Kackinson had 14 saves including stopping five of eight Chateaugay penalty kick shooters in the shootout.
After the first five shooters the shootout was tied 2-2. The next shooter for Chateaugay scored and Harrisville's Evelyn Winters answered to tie it. The next two shooters missed. Then on the eighth set of shooters Chateaugay missed and Bayleigh Spencer scored to end the marathon standoff.
"Bayleigh came through for us tonight with a nice shot. I’m extremely happy for her. She is a talented hard working kid that gets very little credit. Our goalie Megan Kackinson played un-believable in goal stopping five of the penalty kicks. She was a rock for us on the back. Torie Moore, Evelyn Winters, and Bayleigh Spencer all scored on PKs for us. Our girls never give up. I am so proud of how hard they fight and play all game. This team has a lot of hard and grit in them," said Harrisville Coach Corey Benson.
SECTION 10 GIRLS SOCCER TOURNAMENT
FRIDAY Madrid-Waddington vs Brushton-MoirA Class C Championship at SUNY Potsdam at 5 p.m.
SATURDAY: Canton vs Potsdam in Class B Championship game at 1 p.m.
Class D Semi-finals: Harrisville vs. Edwards-Knox at 1 p.m., Parishville-Hopkinton vs Hammond at 3 p.m at Potsdam High School.
TUESDAY, NOV 5: Section 10 Class D Championship game at Potsdam High School at 5 p.m.